It’s been a few weeks since we’ve updated the website since we were vacationing on the beautiful island of Kauai in Hawaii. It’s the furthest accessible island (the furthest is off-limits) and the least developed. Lots of hiking, kayaking, beaches, etc. Surprising there are a lot of chickens! They’re as populous as squirrels are here (but at least squirrels don’t crow at 3am!).
We rented a cottage in the midst of farmland and plantations and a long walk to the beach. It was blissful.
Ok, so what does this have to do with local eating? Well, we maintained (and probably improved) our local eating habits on this vacation. The property we were on had mango, papaya, banana, orange and breadfruit trees. There is at least one farmer’s market on the island every day which rounded out our kitchen with pineapples, lettuce, corn, cucumbers, eggs and more. Local meat was a little harder to confirm. We ate pork chops, chicken and fish. The fish was definitely local but the poultry and pork was origin-unknown. The oddest thing we saw was a tomato from Canada!!! How can that be economical?
We were fortunate to be given access to a local organic fruit farm for a quick tour and saw pineapple bushes. We learned that it takes 20 months to grow a pineapple and you only get a single fruit from each plant. It’s no wonder we don’t see Hawaiian pineapples in Canada - they would be ridiculously expensive given American labour rates and the cost of shipping from Hawaii. It’s too bad because they have a special variety (Sugarloaf) which is exceptional! Low in acid and very sweet.
We really wanted to bring a pineapple home with us but expected to need to purchase it from an inspected market (for export). We just missed the location from which we planned to buy them and ended up buying them from the airport for far too much money. Unfortunately they were from Maui! Again, why fly them from Maui when they grow on Kauai? Regardless, once we bought the pineapple I realised there was no “export approved” type label on the package. Since every piece of luggage leaving Kauai for the mainland is inspected by the US Dept of Agriculture we asked them if there was anything special about these “airport pineapples”…. no! So, for anyone flying to Hawaii, pick up pineapples anywhere and bring them home! We were cautioned that pineapple is the only fruit allowed back.